The Republic of Cameroon is a unitary republic of central Africa. It borders Nigeria, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Gulf of Guinea. Originally a German colony, the former French Cameroon and part of British Cameroons merged in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon which in 1972 was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon; since 1984 the country is known as the Republic of Cameroon or République du Cameroun (its official languages are English and French). Cameroon has generally enjoyed stability, which has permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as a petroleum industry. Despite movement toward democratic reform, political power remains firmly in the hands of an ethnic oligarchy. The capital is Yaoundé.
Main article: History of Cameroon
The first inhabitants of Cameroon were the pygmy Baka tribes. The Bantu language originated in the highlands of Cameroon, but many of its speakers moved out before foreign invaders came into the nation.
The first European contact was in the 16th century with the Portuguese, but they did not stay. The first permanent settlements were started in the late 1870s, with the German Empire emerging as the major European Power. After World War I though, the country would be split by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the French Third Republic.
In 1961 the French and British portions of Cameroon were united, the French portion having gained independence a year earlier. The new coalition government was led by Ahmadou Ahidjo who led a crack down on rebel groups who had remained since before independence.
Ahidjo stepped down in 1982 and was succeeded by the current president, Paul Biya. Biya has won numerous elections, but the fairness of these elections has been questioned. The last elections were held on October 11, 2004.
- Main article: Politics of Cameroon
The President of Cameroon holds executive power in the government of Cameroon. This provision was part of the reforms instituted in 1996 to the Constitution, that had been originally written in 1972. The President is given a broad range of powers, and is able to carry them out without consulting the National Assembly.
The National Assembly consists of 180 delegates and meets three times a year. The main responsibility of the Assembly is to pass laws, but rarely has it changed any laws or blocked the passage of legislation.
Main article: Provinces of Cameroon
Cameroon is divided into 10 provinces:
- Adamawa Province (Adamaoua)
- Centre Province
- East Province (Est)
- Extreme North Province (Extreme-Nord)
- Littoral Province
- North Province (Nord)
- Northwest Province (Nord-Ouest)
- West Province (Ouest)
- South Province (Sud)
- Southwest Province (Sud-Ouest)
Main article: Geography of Cameroon Location: Western Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria
Geographic coordinates: 6° N 12° E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 475,440 km² land: 469,440 km² water: 6,000 km²
Main article: Economy of Cameroon For a quarter-century following independence, Cameroon was one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. The drop in commodity prices for its principal exports —petroleum, cocoa, coffee, and cotton — in the mid-1980s, combined with an overvalued currency and economic mismanagement, led to a decade-long recession. Real per capita GDP fell by more than 60% from 1986 to 1994. The current account and fiscal deficits widened, and foreign debt grew. Yet because of its oil resources and favorable agricultural conditions, Cameroon still has one of the best-endowed primary commodity economies in sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite rapid urbanisation, the single largest economic activity in Cameroon is subsistence agriculture, in which virtually all of the rural population is employed.
Main article: Demographics of Cameroon Cameroon's demographic profile is comprised of an estimated 250 distinct ethnic groups, which may be formed into five large regional-cultural divisions:
- western highlanders (Semi-Bantu or grassfielders), including the Bamileke, Bamun (or Bamoun), and many smaller Tikar groups in the Northwest (est. 38% of total population);
- coastal tropical forest peoples, including the Bassa, Duala (or Douala), and many smaller groups in the Southwest (12%);
- southern tropical forest peoples, including the Beti-Pahuin, Bulu (a subgroup of Beti-Pahuin), Fang (subgroup of Beti-Pahuin), Maka-Njem, and Baka pygmies (18%);
- predominantly Islamic peoples of the northern semi-arid regions (the Sahel) and central highlands, including the Fulani (or Peuhl in French) (14%); and
- the "Kirdi", non-Islamic or recently Islamic peoples of the northern desert and central highlands (18%).
Main article: Culture of Cameroon
|January 1||New Year's Day|
|February 11||National Youth Day|
|May 1||Labor Day|
|May 20||National Day|
Main article: Education in Cameroon Cameroon is known for having one of the best educational systems in Africa. Primary school is both free of charge and obligatory. Statistics say that 70% of all children in ages between 6-12 years go to school. 79% of the Cameroon population can read.There has been an increasing trend of the smartest students leaving the country in recent years to study abroad and end up settling there, the so-called "brain drain".
- Catholic Church in Cameroon
- Communications in Cameroon
- Foreign relations of Cameroon
- List of Cameroon-related topics
- List of cities in Cameroon
- Military of Cameroon
- Transportation in Cameroon
- The Cameroonian Association of Engineers and Computer ScientistsWeb site of the Association of Cameroonian Engineers in Germany
- Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon official government site
- National Assembly of Cameroon official site
- allAfrica - Cameroon news headline links
- CRTV - Cameroon Radio Television state-run
- Le Messager privately-owned newspaper (in French)
- Baka Pygmies of Cameroon Culture and music of the first inhabitants of Cameroon
- Anthropological researches in Cameroon Fieldwork among Cameroonian populations
- The Bamileke people of Cameroon
- CMCLICK Online! Cameroon Portal - Cameroon Cameroon Internet Community. Cameroon Business Directory. Cameroon Information. Cameroon Culture.
- LookSmart - Cameroon directory category
- Open Directory Project - Cameroon directory category
- Stanford University - Africa South of the Sahara: Cameroon directory category
- University of Pennsylvania - African Studies Center: Cameroon directory category
- Yahoo! - Cameroon directory category
- Cameroon tourism Information and pictures
- Cameroon In Colour Cameroon pictures. Largest Online picture collection of Cameroon. Images of Cameroon. Cameroon Photos.
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